City Commission receives reports, approves budget changes

During their final meeting of 2015, the Fort Scott City Commission received reports from different organizations supported by the city as well as approved different budget changes and improvements to be made in different areas of the city.

12-17 City Commission 3

  • Jan Hedges, the volunteer coordinator of the Fort Scott Circles program, now into its second year of existence in the area, gave an update on the program whose license fees are paid by the city of Fort Scott. Hedges said the goal of the program is to help those in the community in poverty or who would like to improve their way of living. Divided into two phases, a second group of participants graduated from the first phase Wednesday evening and will begin the second, 18-month phase in January. For that phase, Hedges said they are looking for volunteers from the community who would partner with members of the program, attending monthly meetings with them and providing extra support.
  • Historic Preservation Association chairman Rhonda Dunn also gave an update on recent events, after accepting a one-time gift of $5,000 from the city. During the Moonlight and Mistletoe tour of the LaRoche property the first weekend of December, the HPA raised about $9,000 from the more than 180 participants. The entire weekend Holiday Homes tour had about 300 participate in touring the five buildings. The HPA also donated $1,000 to the city during the event to go towards purchasing a new trolley. Dunn also gave an update on the changes made to the county courthouse, which now includes different historical artifacts donated to be put on display.
  • The city decided to turn the maintenance of a road to Peerless Products, Inc., located next to the road that is just paved property by the end of it. The company, which in recent months became the top employer in Fort Scott, is planning to expand their business with a new building. With the property running just a few feet from the road, and wanting to make improvements to the roadway and its drainage, Peerless agreed to take care of the costs associated with it as the city agreed to transfer that responsibility to them.
  • Work will continue on the golf course clubhouse after the city agreed to accept a bid from a construction company that will complete the job by March 1 for a total of about $53,000. That amount will be funded by the remaining $23,000 received because of previous hail damage as well as another $30,000 from the golf course endowment fund, made up of donations from the community. City Manager Dave Martin emphasized that none of it will come from taxpayers’ dollars.
  • Other year-end business included amending the budget to allow the city to spend excess revenue from 2015 as well as adding a three percent increase in water and other utility rates such as sewer and storm water rates. They will also begin looking at options to trade in the Waste Water Treatment Plant’s tractor for a newer one and accept bids in order to replace the city’s oldest sewer lift station.

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